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Hindu Patriot


Hindu Patriot a weekly newspaper, first published on 6 January 1853 under the proprietorship of one Madhusudhan Roy in conjunction with girish chandra ghosh as Managing Editor, changed ownership around June 1855. Haran Chandra Mukherjee, elder brother of harish chandra mukherjee of Bhawanipur became the new proprietor. The actual purchaser of the paper, however, was Harish Chandra who had to keep himself shielded from the Military Auditor General under whom he officiated. The Military Auditor would not have approved of a proprietor-editor of a journal as one of his subordinates.

The Hindu Patriot under Harish Chandra played a vital role against the tyranny of the indigo planters particularly during the post sepoy revolt period. Regular editorials against such tyranny on the poor hapless indigo raiyats attracted public attention and evoked universal condemnation from a large cross-section of educated Indians.

Other principal social issues highlighted by the Patriot in its columns were female education and Hindu widow remarriage. As regards female education, the paper advised everybody to follow the lead given by John Drinkwater Bethune and on the question of widow remarriage it sided with the reformists and supported the cause of legalising such marriages. The paper, however, opposed the implementation of divorce laws in Hindu society.

Although the principal objective of the Hindu Patriot was to focus anomalies in British Government in India, it pinned very high hopes on the liberalism of the British public and parliament. Thus, it always advised Indians to look for the amelioration of their grievances to the British public and parliament whenever the British Indian administration failed to redress their complaints. Again, the focusing of multiple anomalies relative to British rule was never intended to tarnish the image of the British Indian government. Rather, criticism of anomalies was intended to make the administration aware of public grievances and their causes so as to enable the government to effect their speedy rectification. To the Hindu Patriot, British rule in India was not blind folded imperialism but something highly noble to be supported for public welfare. Indians had still much to learn from the English and English rule was accordingly to be endured. This feature comes out vividly in a lengthy editorial of the 11 October 1855 issue of the newspaper.

Thus, when during the Sepoy Revolt, the government imposed press restriction in India, by Act XV of 1857, and papers like the Hindu Intelligencer suspended publication in protest, the Hindu Patriot made no particular grievance of it.

Again, during the heydays of the Sepoy Revolt the Patriot, according to Ram Gopal Sanyal, a contemporary authority, sympathised with the British administration in India. This impressed Lord canning and an influential English parliamentarian, Lord Granville.

Despite its popularity, the high price of the Hindu Patriot did not bring forth enough subscribers to its fold thereby causing periodic pecuniary losses to its management and contributing to its final demise. However, this occurred much after Harish Chandra Mukherjee's death and the subsequent editorship of eminent Bengalis like sambhu chandra mukherjee and kristodas pal. After the death of Kristodas Pal (1884),' Rajkumar Sarbadhikari become the new editor of the newspaper. [Abhijit Dutta]